Trying something new

After completing two half-marathons in the spring, I was sure to be on track for at least two more this fall. Well, life happens and often plans get scrapped. While I have been able to run a couple of times each week, my training routine has sadly gone by the wayside. It has been strange to not have a goal race in mind right now. I toyed with the idea of planning a trip during the winter to a warmer climate – a destination race (!) but I know that as soon as it gets cold, my motivation for running outside will lessen. So, while a winter marathon does not have much appeal, I have been wracking my brain to come up with some type of goal for myself.

Reading an email gave me the idea of a ‘staged marathon’. This sounds really cool! Over the course of a week, you run various distances that total up to 26.2 miles. I have my husband almost convinced to join me in our own little adventure in different parks around our city. Maybe a few of our running buddies will be interested. The more, the merrier! I’m looking at the last full week of October for this.

Anyway, I have also been mixing new things into my cross training days. Zumba has been a weekly event for me this summer and it really did put more spring into my running stride. My daughter joined me yesterday to try TRX – kind of like Pilates on suspension straps. It was very interesting and is not supposed to bulk you up. It felt relaxing and challenging at the same time. This may be our new thing for the fall. It helps to change up a routine every few months so your body doesn’t get too comfortable.

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Why don’t black people swim?

This is a question I heard a lot during the Summer Olympics this month. While I do know that many African-Americans do swim, it is not as popular as basketball or football. Why? I believe it is mostly due to how easy it is to access what is needed. A pick-up game can happen almost anywhere, and football only requires some open space. A swimming pool is a different matter. My high school had an Olympic-size pool and swimming was a required PhysEd class for graduation. Not many schools have facilities to support this requirement.

However, not being able to swim can beĀ dangerous. Cullen Jones (Olympic swimmer) has been promoting basic swimming skills for all children through the Make A Splash campaign (www.makeasplash.org). The site reports that Black children are 3x more likely to drown than White children,and that drowning is the 2nd leading cause of childhood accidental death. In fact,10 people drown every day in the United States. Seven out of ten African-American childrenĀ and six out of ten Hispanic children do not know how to swim.

So, let’s keep our kids safer by making sure they have basic swim skills. Check out the neighborhood YMCAs and gyms. And, it’s okay ot take lessons with your children.